Thai Airways sets up new department targeting fly-cruisers

Nipatorn Singhagan, manager of the new Special Leisure Department,

Thai Airways International (THAI) is targeting the fly-cruise market from Thailand through the launch of a newly established Special Leisure Department, which will soon roll out promotions combining flights and cruises in the UK, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

With the move, the airlines is hoping to ride the growing popularity of cruising to expand to new markets, as well as gain a competitive edge on tougher routes.

Nipatorn Singhagan, manager of the new Special Leisure Department

Nipatorn Singhagan, manager of the Special Leisure Department, said the promotions will be launched within the year.

She is upbeat about the appeal of fly-cruise packages in the Thai outbound market, with the product still relatively novel in comparison to land holidays.

Sumate Sudasna, managing director of Conference and Destination Management (CDM), said cruises sell because they can be the more cost-effective and fuss-free way to travel, bringing entertainment, F&B and more together in one place.

“Cruise itself is not new for the market. But people (take repeat cruise holidays) because they are priced 30 per cent cheaper than vacations on land,” Sumate said.

Meanwhile, Nipatorn shared that the new department is also focussed on other non-leisure segments. To target the meetings and incentives segment, for example, the department is offering options like seat upgrade, onboard welcome announcement, and fast track lane at immigration.

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